KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — The Cabinet today decided to allow Muslims to resume umrah pilgrimages from February 8, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

She said the decision was made as the government did not intend to extend the postponement period of umrah trips which came into effect on January 8 following the transmission of Omicron Covid-19 variant infection.

“The Cabinet decision was made just now. We do not want to extend the suspension further so on February 8 umrah travel agents can continue their umrah activities,” she told reporters when asked to comment on the matter after officiating the Dream Malaysia videos launching ceremony here today.

According to Nancy, the standard operating procedure (SOP) for umrah trips is still the same which among others makes it compulsory for pilgrims to take the booster jabs.

“The SOP is still the same. There is only a few new SOP for them (pilgrims) and that will be discussed with the umrah travel agents. So, a detailed SOP will be discussed further,” she said.

On January 1, the government decided to temporarily suspend all umrah trips from January 8 over fears of the high number of Covid-19 Omicron variant cases among those returning from Saudi Arabia.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was quoted as saying that a risk evaluation of the Covid-19 situation involving the variant at home and abroad, especially in Saudi Arabia, would be done periodically for the government to re-allow umrah activities. — Bernama